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What is the Zero to Stockpile Challenge

Zero to Stockpile Challenge


What is the Zero to Stockpile Challenge?

The Zero to Stockpile Challenge is a way to show you, as a new couponer, how important the stockpile is to your savings. It takes you through a process, step by step, to show you exactly how to save money on your groceries.

Remember the saying, good things don’t happen overnight? Well, that saying is true even for saving money on your groceries.

Why Do I Need a Stockpile?

Grocery Stockpile List - How To Build Your Stockpile

Stockpile, noun: a large supply of food gathered and held in reserve for use during a shortage or during a period of higher prices.

Stockpiling, verb: to accumulate for future use; put or store in a stockpile.

In my opinion, the power of the stockpile, is one of the hardest concepts for newbies to understand. So many times, through social media and even through our website here on LRWC, you see shopping trips of, sometimes, unusual items making you scratch your head wondering, what are they eating if that is all they bought this week.

I get it! One week I would buy 4 bottles of shampoo, a box of toothpaste, 2 packs of toilet paper for next to nothing. Maybe stopping at the farmers market for some produce along the way. And that’s it. But, what am I eating is always a hot question. You certainly can’t eat shampoo, toilet paper and toothpaste. Nor can you survive on just some produce.

That is where the stockpile comes in. But, how did I get to that point? The point of being able to live on food I already have while buying only the free and cheap items that are available each week.

As I said, it’ doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. A process that takes about three months.

During that three month process, you will be building up a stockpile for your pantry and your freezer by buying the items, when they are priced at the lowest price you have seen, and then stocking up on them.

You will notice, along that three month period, that your price point for each in your stockpile will gradually decrease. You’ll be able to control how much you want to spend on those items once you are in the drivers seat. To get yourself in the drivers seat, you need to build up a stockpile.

How Do I Know When to Buy Something for My Stockpile?

Ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is this something I need for my family?
  2. Am I getting a good deal on it? For instance, is it on sale, are there coupons that will help lower the price even more?
  3. If I already have it in my stockpile, do I need to buy more of it to get my family through about 3 months or the next great sale?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then go for it. Buy it and add it to your growing stockpile.

What Type of Items Should I Put in My Stockpile?

That is a good question and is unique to each family as it depends on what you use and what your family likes. The list is long but here are some basic items:

  • Condiments (BBQ Sauce, steak sauce, mustard, ketchup, mayo)
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Snacks (crackers, nachos, salsa, popcorn)
  • Canned goods (tomatoes, sauce, soups, vegetables)
  • Cereals
  • Cleaning supplies (cleaners, garbage bags, laundry)
  • Drinks (water, soda, iced tea, coffee, tea, juice)
  • Dairy (butter, creamers)
  • Meats & Fish (keep frozen)
  • Breads (keep frozen)
  • Health & Beauty Products (band aids, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, soap, etc)

How Long Will It Take To See Big Savings?

Start your stockpile slowly only looking for those items that are cheap or free. Continue doing your regular grocery shopping during that time. Within 4 weeks of starting to build your stockpile, you will start to see your grocery bill go down as you trim out some of the items that are already sitting in your stockpile. Within 8 weeks, your grocery shopping will really start to turn over to just those free items and filling in your stockpile. By about 12 weeks, you should have a good solid stockpile that allows you to only pick up the free and cheap items and any produce or meat items you don’t already have packed in your freezer.

Follow the Process!

I encourage you to follow my journey that I took last year. You can see how I donated my entire stockpile in 2018, emptied out my full size freezer and purged all my coupons starting completely fresh, like a new couponer. You can see, step by step, how to start from Zero to Stockpile!


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How To Participate in the Zero to Stockpile Challenge

Following and participating in the Zero to Stockpile challenge is simple. There is nothing to join and nothing to pay for. You simply just follow along, on the Zero to Stockpile page,  as I collect my coupons, shop and save building my stockpile from scratch just like a brand new couponer would.

What you need to help you get started:

1. Get Your Coupons

How to Build A Stockpile on a Budget - Build a Grocery Stockpile -

There are so many places to score coupons. All our match ups and deals have all the latest coupons available matched with all the sales in tons of different stores.

You’ll find these resources very valuable in building your coupons:

  • Printable Coupons: Lists over 60 resources for printable coupons from almost every brand.
  • Sunday Coupon Insert Preview: Lists all the coupons coming our in the upcoming inserts.
  • Request Coupons from Companies: A great resource of companies that have from time to time offered coupons to consumers upon request.
  • Coupon Database: Bookmark this page because this has every coupon, every store coupon, every digital coupon and more. Awesome resource!
  • Download App: We’ve selected these 20 apps as the best money saving apps for 2018.

2. Organize Your Coupons

Being organized is the key to success. We like to keep things simple here at LRWC so we suggest the whole insert method of organizing your coupons. It’s quick and easy! You can view a short view about it right here.

These items are not necessary but many people request info on the items I use so I’ll provide them here:

Using these items means you can tuck the coupons away in a closet or corner until you are ready to prepare your shopping trip.

3. Find a Place to Store Your Stockpile

This can vary depending on the space you have. You will be collecting and storing about three months worth of items for you and your family. If there are just 2 of you living in an apartment, then you don’t need a ton of stuff and can utilize space in your cabinets and closets. Even storing some items, like paper towels or toilet paper,  under your bed. Get creative!

If you have the extra space in a closet, garage or basement, consider reusing a shelf or shelves you already have. I use these Edsal shelves and have been extremely pleased with them.

4. Find Your Store Match Ups

We cover the deals at over 25 stores from Target, Walmart, CVS and many local grocery stores. You can check out the full list of stores here.

5. Use These Savings Tools

Here are LRWC, we have made it as easy as possible for you to save.

6. Follow my progress

The best way to learn is to watch it being done first hand. That’s why at the beginning of January, I will have donated my entire stockpile, purged all my coupons and all my store rewards so you can see exactly how it’s done. From Zero to Stockpile.



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Why Cindy Did the Zero to Stockpile Challenge

I’ve been a serious couponer for more than 10 years now saving my family, over those 10 years, over $100,000. What?! Yes those numbers are correct. Maybe even a little on the conservative site. But, it’s true. With a savings of around $10,000 a year on my groceries, over 10 years, that’s around $100,000.

When I first started Living Rich With Coupons, I had already built a nice stockpile and was fully into couponing. Meaning I was well past the beginners stage. From there, I taught thousands and thousands of people how to save, just like I was.

Over the years, I came to realize that, those that didn’t catch onto the how to save, didn’t quite understand the importance of a stockpile and how it effects your savings in the long run.

Too many times, I was faced with comments about my shopping trips. Wondering how I could feed my family on the items I was buying each week.

Which brings me to today.

Starting in January, I will be donating my entire stockpile. Purging my coupons and all my store rewards and starting over from zero.

This way, you, as a brand new couponer, can see how it’s done from zero. You can see, why, when you build your stockpile, you don’t need to buy that much each week. You can see how your grocery budget goes down, the more you gain control of what you HAVE to spend on your groceries instead of what you WANT to spend.

I hope you enjoy my challenge and participate along with me. You can follow the full Zero to Stockpile Challenge here. 


How many inserts do you get each week?
I get 4 inserts each week. I have a family size of about 4 (3 adults which would equate to an average 2 adults and 2 kids)

How long does it take you to see a difference in your spending?
It will take a good 4 weeks to start seeing your spending go down but you won’t see the full benefit of it until around 12 weeks

Why did you get rid of your coupons too?
I felt that, to truly be like a brand new coupons, I had to start completely fresh just as a new couponer would. Yes you miss out on some of the great deals because you don’t have the past coupons, but that is exactly why it takes about 4 weeks to really get a nice stockpile started and 12 weeks to get a complete stockpile.

Doesn’t couponing take you a lot of time? Is it really worth it?
We here on Living Rich With Coupons, do all the hard work for you already. We match up the sales with the coupons and rebates so you can just sit back and save. But, yes it takes time. It takes me about 3 extra hours per week. So do the math for me over the last 10 years:

Three hours a week for 10 years = 1560 hours
Total savings over 10 years – $100,000
That is an average of $64 an hour. Not too shabby for a “part time gig”

Are you increasing your grocery budget for this challenge?
I have no choice but to increase it. Having a stockpile allows me to keep my grocery budget low since I am in control of how much I want to spend on the items that are important to my family. Without a stockpile, I lose that control and will be forced to pay higher prices since.

When are you starting the challenge?
I’m donating my entire stockpile to Lunch Break in Red Bank, NJ on January 4th. I will start from zero on Sunday January 7th. My goal is to have my stockpile at it’s perfect point and my grocery budget back down only $100 a week after that.

I’m late to the challenge. Can I do it even after it started?
Absolutely! The challenge is yours to do no matter when you start. If you come in after we started or even after it’s complete, you can follow the progress I made and use it as a guide to do your very own challenge to get from Zero to Stockpile


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how to coupon

Step By Step Couponing – How to Coupon –

While doing the Zero to Stockpile Challenge, I donated my entire stockpile, emptied out my full size freezer and purged all my coupons starting completely fresh, like a new couponer so you can see Step by Step Couponing for Beginners and even for those that have already been couponing.

Normally, with the use of my stockpile, my grocery budget was just $100 each week however, I averaged only about $75 to $80 each week.

Having to increase my budget for this challenge was necessary as I had no stockpile or stocked freezer to live off of each week.

Below are posts for each of my shopping trips that I have done during this challenge. You’ll be able to see, as the weeks go by and my stockpile builds back up, that my grocery spending decreases. Then once again, I can be back to my original $100 a week grocery budget.

The first place to start is to follow the Challenges listed below. Each challenge is designed to help you along the way as you build your stockpile and learn how to save using coupons.

Here is the actual list of challenges:

  1. Finding Space for your Stockpile
  2. Get Ready for Your Coupons (or not?) 
  3. Preparing Your Grocery Budget & Goals
  4. Prepare Your Shopping List Early
  5. Meal Planning Made Simple
  6. Have a Plan to Build Your Stockpile That Works for Your Family

Below the Challenges are the Shopping Trips I did to Help Rebuild my Stockpile from Zero to Awesome. I highly encourage you to look through them so you can see what I bought, why I bought it and how it affected my stockpile.



Donation Day

Grocery Budget Tracker

 Cindy’s Weekly Grocery Budget Tracker –

While I was doing the Zero to Stockpile Challenge in 2018, I donated my entire stockpile, emptied out my full size freezer and purged all my coupons starting completely fresh, like a new couponer.

Normally, with the use of my stockpile, my grocery budget was just $75 each week.

Having to increase my budget for this challenge was necessary as I had no stockpile or stocked freezer to live off of each week.

This grocery budget tracker is to show you the impact that a stockpile makes to your grocery budget.

Hopefully, you can see that, as the weeks go by and my stockpile builds back up, my grocery spending decreases. Then once again, I can be back to my original $75 a week grocery budget.

This Budget Started 1/7/18

Challenges That will Help You Tons!

Cindy’s Stockpile List

I don’t usually keep a list of items in my stockpile as I find that task to be too time consuming. If you do, all the more power to you! However, for the purpose of the Zero to Stockpile Challenge, I will be showing all the items currently in my stockpile.

Remember, I donated my entire stockpile, emptied out my full size freezer and purged all my coupons starting completely fresh, like a new couponer so I could show you the process of getting started and the importance of building your very own stockpile. And most of all, how, having a stockpile, will help you control your spending of items you need for you and your family.

STARTING 1/7/18!



Zero to Stockpile Giveaway


The Zero to Stockpile giveaway starts now and runs through Saturday, March 31st 2018.


The Zero to Stockpile giveaway will be on Instagram, Facebook and through Email.


There are a few ways you can enter. You can do one or all but the more you do, the more times you are entered.
1. Simply share images of your shopping trips using the hashtags #zerotostockpile AND tagging @livingrichwithcoupons
2. Tag a friend (someone you actually know) on a Zero to Stockpile post that is done on @livingrichwithcoupons.
3. Follow Living Rich With Coupons on Instagram
NOTE: Your profile must be made public so that we can see your tags.

There are a few ways you can enter. You can do one or all but the more you do the more times you are entered.
1. Post a picture on your facebook timeline tagging @livingrichwithcoupons (Living Rich With Coupons Facebook Page) and using the hastag #zerotostockpile in your post. Your post must be made public in order for us to see it and be entered.
4. Follow Living Rich With Coupons on Facebook

Emailing your shopping trips will not only get you entered into our Zero to Stockpile Giveaway, you’ll also be entered into our Reader Shopping Trip Giveaway. You can read more details on how to enter here. 


Weekly Winners: Each week starting the week of 1/7/17 we will pick a winner on that following Saturday (at random) from all the entries that week. The winner for that week will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

Challenge Winner: At the end of the challenge, on March 31, 2018, we will pick a grand prize winner who will receive a $250 Amazon Gift Card.

OFFICIAL RULES (cause we have to)

The Zero to Stockpile Official Rules*


  1. ELIGIBILITY: The Zero to Stockpile (“Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia (void in Puerto Rico, all U.S. territories and possessions and all overseas military installations) who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or older as of January 7th, 2018 and who have an Instagram and/or a Facebook account. All employees of Living Rich With Coupons and their affiliates, sales representatives, licensees or agents (all of the foregoing, collectively, “Sweepstakes Entities”), and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses) and those living in the same household of each (whether legally related or not), are ineligible to enter or win the Sweepstakes. All applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law. Entry in the Sweepstakes constitutes your full and unconditional acceptance of these “Official Rules”.
  2. SWEEPSTAKES PERIOD: The Sweepstakes period begins at 12:01 a.m. (EST) on January 7th, 2018 and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 31, 2018. (the “Sweepstakes Period”).
  3. SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS: To enter the Sweepstakes each entrant must:

Please see above for details on entries


  1. SELECTION OF WINNERS: One winner (“Winner” or collectively “Winners”) will be selected each week & one final winner during the Sweepstakes Period (“Daily Selection”) at random from the Entries properly submitted throughout the Sweepstakes Period for a total of 13 Winners. Weekly Selections will occur at or around 8 am every Sunday (EST). For an Entry to be considered for a Weekly Selection, the Entry must be completed and submitted before Saturday at 11:59pm. (EST).  Entries that were not selected or Entries that were received after the 11:59p.m. deadline will roll over to the next Weekly Selection.  No Entries will be accepted after 11:29 p.m. (EST) on March 31, 2018.  Odds of winning are dependent upon the number of eligible Entries received for each Daily Selection during the Sweepstakes Period.
  2. PRIZES: Each Weekly Winner will receive One (1) of the following Seven (13) prize (“Prize”):  $50 Amazon Gift Card. The final grand prize winner will receive One (1) $250 Amazon Gift Card.

Host will announce all Winner(s) in a blog post update on April 2nd, 2018 and each weekly Winner will be contacted throughout the Sweepstakes Period. Host will contact each of the Winners through their respective Instagram and/or Facebook accounts. Winners have seven (7) calendar days in which to reply to Host to claim the Prize. Participants can view the announced Winner(s) when the announcement has been made on digital and social media channels owned by the Host. If the selected Winner cannot be contacted during such time or if there is a return of any notification as undeliverable; then the selected Winner will be disqualified (and will forfeit all rights to his/her respective Prize) and the Host reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to select an alternate eligible Winner from among the remaining eligible entries (in which case the forgoing provisions of this section shall apply to such new selected Winner).  Winner will be sent an acceptance package to be completed and returned to Host. The Winner will receive the acceptance package via e-mail. The Winner will have seven (7) days from the date such acceptance package is received to claim his/her Prize by completing, signing and returning, as evidenced by post mark, the Affidavit of Eligibility, the Publicity/Liability Release, and the US IRS Form W-9, if applicable. If the Winner cannot be contacted, provides incorrect e-mail, is ineligible, does not comply with these Official Rules, fails to claim the Prize, fails to return the completed and executed forms as required, or if the Prize notification or prize is returned as undeliverable, an alternate eligible Winner may be selected. Host’s decisions shall be final in all matters pertaining to this Sweepstakes.


Winner(s) are responsible for any and all applicable federal, state or local taxes that may result from the receipt of any Prize. Prizes are non-refundable, nontransferable, and may not be redeemed or substituted for cash. Host reserves the right to substitute any Prize with another prize of equal or greater value. Prize fulfillment is subject to completion of valid W9 (if applicable) and affidavit, which will be collected by Host.

  1. USE OF WINNER’S LIKENESS; WAIVER AND RELEASE; INDEMNITY FROM USE: Except where prohibited by law, by accepting the Prize, each Winner grants the Host a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free license and right, to publicize, broadcast, display and/or otherwise use the Winner’s name,  city, state, biographical material, picture/portrait likeness and/or voice, including the Qualifying Picture (collectively, “Licensed Rights”) in any media now known or hereafter devised for advertising and publicity purposes, without additional review, compensation, permission or approval of any Winner. Winner agrees that the Host shall have no liability whatsoever for, and the Winner will defend and hold harmless Host, from any liability resulting from any injury, loss or damages of any kind to persons, including death, and property, or the posting of a any picture, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the Prize or participation in this Sweepstakes. All entries become the sole property of Host and none will be returned. In the event of a dispute, Entries will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the Instagram account submitted at the time of Entry. The “authorized account holder” is deemed the natural person who is assigned to an Instagram account by Instagram. The eligible Winner may be requested to provide Sponsor and Host with proof that the eligible Winner is the authorized account holder of the Instagram account associated with the winning entry.
  2. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY; WAIVER; GENERAL INDEMNIFICATION: Entrant agrees that the Host will have no liability whatsoever for, and will indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsor and the Host (collectively, the “Sweepstakes Indemnitees”) from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by Winner or any third party against any of the Sweepstakes Indemnitees due to or arising out of the entrant’s submission in this Sweepstakes, or the entrant’s conduct during and in connection with this Sweepstakes, including but not limited to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy, or defamation. No liability or responsibility is assumed by Sponsor or Host resulting from any entrant’s participation in or attempt to participate in the Sweepstakes or ability or inability to upload, or download any information in connection with participating in the Sweepstakes. No responsibility or liability is assumed by Sponsor nor Host for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Sweepstakes: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted e-mail transmissions; inaccessibility of the Sponsor web site, Host web site,  Instagram or Facebook (“Web Site”) in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the internet or the Web Site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Sweepstakes, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Sweepstakes, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Sweepstakes. Each Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages. Host reserve the right to correct typographic, clerical or printing errors in any Sweepstakes materials. Host are not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of this Sweepstakes, the administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of the Winner, including such error as may give an erroneous indication that a prize has been won. In the event the Host are prevented from continuing with this Sweepstakes, or the integrity and/or feasibility of the Sweepstakes is undermined by any event including but not limited to fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute, or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, or any federal, state, or local government law, order of regulation, order of any court or jurisdiction, or other cause not reasonably within the Host’s control (each a “Force Majeure” event)  the  Host shall have the right, in their sole discretion, to abbreviate, modify, suspend, cancel or terminate the Sweepstakes without notice or further obligation. If the Host, in their discretion, elect to abbreviate, cancel or terminate the Sweepstakes as a result of a Force Majeure event, the Host reserve the right, but shall have no obligation, to award the prize from among all valid and eligible entries received up to the time of such Force Majeure event. These Official Rules cannot be modified or amended in any way except in a written document issued in accordance with the law by a duly authorized representative of Sponsor. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules shall otherwise remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein. If for any reason the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, including due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure, human error or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor or Host reserves the right in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes and award the prize from among all eligible entries received prior to cancellation or termination. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR OR HOST RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
  3.  GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION:  Any disputes that may arise hereunder shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the State of New Jersey without regard to the conflicts of laws principles of any jurisdiction. Venue with respect to any such disputes shall be had in the state and federal courts of the State of New Jersey.
  4.  WINNER(S) LIST: To receive a list of the winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Host, Attn: Cindy Livesey, Living Rich Media, LLC, 280 Rt 35, Suite 200, Red Bank, NJ 07701
  5. SOCIAL MEDIA PARTICIPATION: No social media provider or network including without limitation Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, is associated or affiliated with the Sponsor or the Host in any manner. Entrant’s use of such sites is subject to each site’s terms of use.
  6.  HOST: The Host of the Sweepstakes is Living Rich Media, LLC., Cindy Livesey





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